Friday, December 28, 2007

Version 2.0 Of 70% Of All Black Women Are Single

Please accept this as an updated copy to the previous post titled "What Is The Cost Of The 70% Unmarried Black Women As Reported By Oprah?"

In the 3 days I have been in Jamaica my experiences with my wife who is a native Jamaican has given me more real world evidence not of the "COSTS" to the community of not having more permanent partnerships but to the BENEFIT to me for having one. So this version 2.0 will be more of a personal assessment from my perspective.

First I have to relate the key differences in the scenes that went through my head at two distinct Jamaican parties while visiting Jamaica. About 15 years ago I came to Montego Bay with my good male friend just to get away on an island vacation. On one of the nights we found a local night club to hang out for the evening. Where as my friends personality is an outgoing, make her laugh on the front end to attract the girl but then go too far (in his drunken state) and turn off all but the most "ride or die" type in the long run (I am sure you women know what I am talking about)......my style is more laid back and conversational. Bottom line - he is more effective at snagging in the girls to sit with but driving them away. I am more effective at keeping them sitting at the table and enjoying themselves for the rest of the night. We work well as a team.

With that being said I could not help but to compare the party two years ago which I attended in an unaccompanied state with the party that I attended two nights ago while accompanied with "My Jamaican Girl" - both a song that the live band had played and the reality that was the case with my wife by my side. Where as in the first party - coming into a different culture with people I didn't know it was a bit disorienting, for me, finding a dance partner. The other night having a more permanent fixture to spend the evening with there was a great improvement as the evening was a combination of listening to and appreciating the talents of both the live vocalists and the musicians who's movements produced that distinct sound of Reggae. So what was the benefit to being attached - for me - it fits my style and my personality. I in fact did bring "sand to the beach" and the sand that I know and love was better than hunting for sand but coming up empty.

The next benefit that I recognized was in seeing the network of friends that my wife knows from which I naturally benefit from. There is no doubt about it that today my life is more defined by the people that she knows and brings us along as a couple to engage with than by the people who I had originally known. My counter parts are either male friends that I hang out with or business associates. It is clear that when it is time to sell Girl Scout cookies or other school fund raisers it is easier to hand the order form to mom than to dad. She is the social butterfly.

In addition to bringing me into the house of the people with whom we are staying yesterday proved rather enlightening with respect to the network of people in relatively high places in the small country that she knew and that I was exposed to. In the balance between the realities of a small sized country and thus a concentrated network of people with the fact that they have a government that must perform the same functions of a larger nation such as the USA - it was far easier to get introduced to the people are responsible for key operations within the government.

Yesterday as I talked with the one man who leads the marketing effort for the island to attract businesses and other opportunity for the benefit of Jamaica I instead realized how much of a valuable asset that I had right under my own roof, right in my own bed. Where as I have personal aspirations regarding my "next step" in my life and my career - it dawned on me how much I had been under-utilizing the potential partnership that I go home with every night. This is not some "business opportunity" or female relationship that I must pursue, having her get to know me - this was untapped potential right under my nose. Only time and maturity had to express it to me.

Here I have a wife who just completed an MBA having been assisted by the fact that me, a resident father, was able to take the load of responsibility off of her back with respect to child care, cooking and of course finances for the essentials in life. With this major investment in hand I saw the need for me to learn how to manage my personal career dreams leveraging my wife's assets rather than factoring her and my family in after the fact. So my dream of departing the house alone and moving to Dubai for a year or two to make enough money to pay off the mortgage will need to be modified a bit.

Yes this is the same woman who I hear whining if I accidentally kick her leg in the bed which couldn't possibly hurt in the way that she over dramatizes it in her response. At the same time I don't have the exposure into the personal lives of other women who I have respect for with regard to their business accumen so I could not possibly get a view of the same intimate information that I have with my wife.

In summary - the presence and management of long term, committed relationships has the benefit of exposing one's self to a person as we all go through the cycles of life. We change. They change. Our needs from someone else changes. Our ability to contribute value to other people also changes. As we consider some of the problems that our community faces it is clear to me that it is a continuing mistake to allow certain things to perpetuate as they have. At the end of the day a culture, a society, a nation is nothing more than the aggregate sum of its parts. We as a people are looking at the downstream problems but are nearly totally missing the fundamental causes of the problem. It might indeed be true that our centuries old experiences have destroyed our culture as it was once known. The fact remains that no one alive today KNEW THAT CULTURE. All that we know is that which we live by today. All that our children know is that which we will hand to them.

In the question of Black male/female relationships it is a matter of ensuring more permanency and endurance to them as a key means of expressing the synergies of the two combined as one. All involved will benefit.

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